VOLUMES 125 & 126-----------NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
SHOOTIN', HUNTIN', AND RELOADIN'
WITH THE OL' MISSOURI HILLBILLY
December 22, 2012
Yep, I know I'm really late again! It's been a busy couple of months, as usual.
As I recall, I ended the September/October issue talking about a tractor. I do have some news on that subject, but first I must insert a little gun talk. I can't believe that I have forgotten to write about a new gun!
Back in early June, we learned that the Wholesale Sports store at Spokane Valley Mall was moving to a new location in Northtown Mall. We had numerous friends and acquaintances who worked there dating back to when I, and later Rick, were helping teach Hunter Education classes at the store. As the moving time came closer, they began marking down prices on most items to reduce inventory before the move.
One particular item with a big yellow tag caught my eye. After negotiation with Little Heifer, it was determined that the markdown of over $250 below MSRP on this item, just couldn't be passed up. Thus, I became the owner of a new Browning BLR rifle in .270 Winchester caliber. Not only was the price right, I didn't have a .270 rifle in my inventory and that gap was begging to be filled!
Browning BLR - Lever Action Rifle in .270 Winchester Caliber
Now let's talk about the tractor issue. All those 'friends' who predicted that Little Heifer would never agree to a new tractor for the ranch were wrong, but there were a few twists and turns in the process of getting there!
After making a few 'looksee' trips on my own, I began modifying our routes to and from various locations that we frequent, in order to 'just happen to go by' some farm machinery dealers. Returning home from Costco, for example, it was a natural to stop in at the Spokane Massey Ferguson/Bronson/Mahindra dealer. Dropping the Cadillac off at the dealership in Coeur d'Alene, ID for an oil change just begged dropping by the New Holland/Kubota dealer, and John Deere green was only a few blocks up the road. Man, I got some frigid looks as I pulled in to some of those parking lots.
After all this looking, we zeroed in on a 25 horsepower Mahindra with a heated and air conditioned cab, front loader, and front mount snowblower. While this tractor lacked a couple of features that we liked in some other brands and the 'fit and finish' wasn't quite as nice, it had been on the lot for over a year, and the price was a few thousand dollars less than most of the others we were considering. So, we got our thoughts together and drove in to make the dealer an offer.
As we entered the front door of the dealership, a man was exiting, and held the door open for us. As we agreed later, the dealer sure had a funny look on his face as we approached the service counter. Turned out the guy we met at the door, was going to the car for his checkbook as he had just bought the Mahindra! When we discussed whether ordering another Mahindra was an option, we found that the prices had increased to the degree that there was no longer a huge difference in price from the other brands we liked better. Back to the drawing board!
To make a long story longer, in late October, we took delivery of a Kubota L3240 from Coeur d'Alene Tractor Co, the same dealer from whom I bought the little Ford 1310 over 26 years ago. The new machine is a 32 horsepower with loader, air conditioned and heated cab, hydrostatic transmission, front mount snowblower, and more gadgets and features than I'll probably ever learn how to operate! The cab was even equipped with a radio antenna and speakers, but no radio. That problem was fixed when I installed the JVC AM/FM/CD Player.
Me and my new toy
Here's Ann inside the cab asking, "Why did I ever let him do this?"
Since the arrival of the Kubota, we've had 3 or 4 occasions when the snowblower was put to good use. I can now attest to the fact that the heated cab along with front and rear wipers and lights, makes clearing the driveway a lot more comfortable than the old Ford with the rear mount blower!
The little Ford and snowblower was advertised in the local newspaper on November 3rd, sold on the 4th, and delivered to the new owner on the 5th.
The family has celebrated two birthdays since my keyboard has produced one of these newsletters. Ann turned 70 on October 30th. Rick and Christi provided cake which was shared with our Elks friends on 'Taco Tuesday' at the Lodge. Our family dinner celebration was later that week at Red Lobster in Coeur d'Alene, followed by gift opening at our house.
Grandma with a button heart made by Jennifer who has now discovered 'crafting.'
We celebrated Christi's birthday on December 10th with ice cream cake and gift opening at our house.
Decorative dish towel from the old 'Whoopie' gift bag that has been in the family for years.
Whoops! Someone mixed up the candles.
Christi's birthday dinner was celebrated at Wolf Lodge Steak House east of Coeur d'Alene. You can look far and wide, and won't find better steaks than those at Wolf Lodge!
We attended the awards ceremony for East Valley High School Cross Country Teams on November 13th. Jennifer's season was marred by a hip joint problem that required numerous physical therapy sessions, but she had several good races. She continued to run with the Varsity squad most all year and received her letter for the sport.
The girls cross country team missed going to the State meet by just a few points, but two of the runners qualified as individuals. Brittany Aquino, led the field at the state meet for about half the race, and ended up finishing in third place. Brittany is a freshman and had never run cross country before this year, so the coaches are looking forward to what she might do in years to come.
Our local modern firearm deer season ended on November 19th. While we had many deer around during the entire season, as compared to past years, there was a dearth of mature bucks. Our deer hunting friends around Spokane County were reporting the same. We did see one monster on November 6th. He hung around behind the house for several minutes, I'm sure knowing that the late rifle season didn't open until the 10th!
The trail camera caught one picture of the big guy as he approached.
Jennifer had her scope on a couple of pretty nice bucks, but neither offered a decent shot at the vitals, so she passed. Neither Ann nor I saw anything that we wanted to take, but Rick did manage to score on a nice 8 point on November 17th.
Rick, his buck, and my Ruger .300 Win Mag that he thinks is his.
Of course Rick had to get the bucket on my new tractor all bloody.
Rick, Christi, and Jennifer brought up a few guns for a shooting session before the snow started flying at the ranch. Christi put 30 or 40 rounds through her Glock 9mm, while Jennifer plinked away with her Henry .22 lever action. I don't recall Jennifer shooting a handgun larger than a .22 before, so she wanted to try the 9mm. It looks like she's a natural with a handgun, as she emptied a magazine with Mom's Glock, the vast majority were in the 4 inch black bulls eye from the standard seven yard line!
Christi shooting her Glock 9mm.
Jennifer shooting her Henry lever action .22.
This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from an unknown source:
When told the reason for daylight savings time, the old Indian said, "Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket."
Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!